Tag Archives: Sif

Days of Thunder – December 1978 The Mighty Thor #278

“At Long Last– Ragnarok?!”
Roy Thomas Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Chic Stone, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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The combined forces of Asgard face Hela and her army.  As they fight, Loki enters the fray, without explanation of how he escaped his chains. He soon falls, and afterward, the Midgard Serpent appears.

While the rest of the Asgardians fight for Asgard, Sif convinces Norvell to take her back to Asgard so that he and she might join the fight. They do, although the Midgard Serpent soon claims Norvell’s life. The Odinson reclaims his hammer and uses it to kill the Midard Serpent, which is not supposed to happen.

Having no idea what the hell is going on at this point, Hela calls for a retreat. Her army departs, leaving the Asgardians to marshal their forces and take stock. Norvell is dead, Joey is dead, but now that the danger has passed, there is a flare, and Balder is restored to a state resembling the Odinsleep.

Odin, seemingly back to full strength explains: He knew that Loki and Hela were determined to kick-start Ragnarok and that they had knowledge of Volla’s prophesies. His plan was to confuse them to the point where they could no longer use the prophesies as a road map. Most of the recent battle was an illusion brought forth by Odin, including the presence of Loki and the Midgard serpent, as well as all of the Asgardian fatalities.

Thor, as usual, is angered at the manipulation on the part of his father and prepares to storm off to Midgard. Odin is sick of Thor dividing his time between the two world.  He commands Thor to stay in Asgard. Thor defies his father and gets himself banished again. He begs Sif to come with him, reminding her that Jane Foster is trapped inside her, but Sif does not have it in her to defy her king.

Thor returns to Earth with Hobbs and his dead camera crew towed in a big net. Upon his arrival, he says his goodbye to Hobbs and tells the reporter that he has to deal with the Celestials.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1978 The Mighty Thor #277

“Time of the Trolls!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators/Imaginers * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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In the aftermath of “Red” Norvell’s attack, the trial of Loki concludes with a sentencing phase. Loki is chained to a rock, where a viper will drip mystic venom on his face until Ragnarok, soon as that may be. Sigyn is granted permission to do what she can to ease her husband’s suffering.

Meanwhile, Novell has taken Sif to Alfheim, home of the Ljo’s-Alfar, also known as the Bright Elves. The Bright Elves seem to be a a bunch of diminutive friendly folk. Norvell batters them around as if they were less than nothing.

While Norvell tries to convince Sif to be in love with him, she explains to him how he was able to obtain the power of Thor. Some time ago, Odin became concerned that his son might be on Midgard at a time when Asgard was in danger. So he had a back-up copy of Thor’s essence made and stored in his gloves and belt. Loki gave unwitting Norvell the instructions to unlock Thor and imprint the Thunder God’s essence o’ertop of himself.

Hela’s army attacks Asgard.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1978 The Mighty Thor #276

“Mine– This Hammer!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema * Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Glynis Wien, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Odin is weakened from losing a sizeable portion of the Odinforce, but nonetheless decides to put his son, Loki on trial.

Before the trial begins, Loki advises Red Norvell to don Thor’s Belt of Strength in the temple of the Palace of Thor, where he can both find and wear Thor’s Iron Gloves, and finally, to bathe in the fire of Geirrodur.

Norvell does all of this, and then he crashes the trial. He is now bigger, beardier, and dressed in Asgardian raiment. He claims to be the “real Thor”. He is brash and brutish and picks a fight with Thor. As they fight, Norvell grabs Mjolnir and wrests it from Thor’s grasp!!

Red beats Thor to a pulp with Mjolnir and is prepared to kill Thor when Joey attempts to intervene. Red accidentally kills Joey. This gives him only slight pause. He threatens to kill Thor if Sif will not come away with him. When that doesn’t work, he threatens to destroy the Odinshield and thus bring about the end of the world.

Faced with the end of the world Sif yields to this creep. Norvell, still holding Thor’s hammer, grabs Sif and they depart. Yuck.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1978 The Mighty Thor #275

“A Balance is Struck!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/ Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators * J. Rosen, Letterer/ B. Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Balder is dead! Out of desperation, Odin sends an Asgardian by the name of Hermod the Swift to Hel to see if anything can be done to restore Balder. The Allfather lends Hermod his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir toward that purpose.

Odin tasks various Asgardians with protecting the Realm. Amongst them he tasks Sigyn, the wife that Loki has apparently had all this time, with guiding the aim of blind archer Hodor. She clearly states that while she loves Loki, she would defend Asgard even if it meant turning on him.

Thor briefly steps away to consult with Mimir.

Harris Hobbs and his team report on the events, but what’s more, Hobbs, who did a lot of studying of Norse mythology before his trip, has been predicting events before they have been happening. Not because of prophetic visions, but because things are matching what he read of Mythology.

Red Norvell hits on Sif some more, and as angry as that makes her, she refrains from slaying him. Butthurt, Norvell tells himself that Sif only likes Thor better than him because Thor is stronger than him. Loki offers to help him with his girl problems.

Loki takes Norvell to Jotunheim, land of the Giants but meets with an assemblage of Trolls and Dwarves. Geirrodur and Ulik are conspicuously absent. Thor somehow tracks them down, and Loki attacks his brother with what he claims to be very axe that Odin used to slay Ymir, eons ago. Since Odin did not slay Ymir, but eternally trapped him in a ring of fire, it seems clear that Loki is lying.

The two brothers battle while Norvell records the fight. Some time prior, Loki weaved an enchantment on Thor so that were he to enter Jotunheim, he would find his strength halved. Thor is no stranger to having his strength halved, but finds he need his full strength and so he uses Mjolnir to summon his Belt of Strength, last seen 184 issues prior. With it, he is able to defeat Loki as well as the trickster’s horde of Trolls and Dwarves.

Thor takes Norvell back to Asgard.  As Thor carries his unconscious brother, he asks Norvell to hold his belt.

When Hermod arrives in Hel, Hela tells him that Balder can be revived if all the world would weep for Balder’s passing. It comes to pass that all things do weep, all save for a Giantess named Thokk, who proclaims that Balder never did nothin for her. This is exactly what Hobbs said would happen, although he adds that there are rumors that Thokk is actually Loki in disguise.

Balder cannot be revived. In order to forestall his full death, Odin sacrifices some of his Odinpower, siphoning it into the fallen god’s body in order to bring Balder to a state of Odinsleep, surrounded by an Odinshield. This will perhaps stave off Ragnarok, but at the cost of weakening the All-Father.

This issue also makes it explicit that time passes at a different rate on Asgard than it does elsewhere. This, perhaps, can account for Odin’s difficulties with understanding time.

Also, Odin has started letting a pair of wolves follow him around wherever he goes.

First appearance: Hermod the Swift, Thokk, Sigyn

 

Days of Thunder – August September 1978 What If Jan Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor? #10

“What if Jane Foster Had Found The Hammer of Thor?
Don Glut, Writer/ Rick Hoberg, Artist/ Dave Hunt, Inker/ C. Gafford, Colorist/ Carol Lay, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, Editor/ J. Shooter, Consulting Editor

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“What If?” is a comic book magazine that reveals how events would have played out for the superheroes of Marvel, if major events had unfolded differently. This issue examines what would have happened if it Doctor Donald Blake had brought along Nurse Jane Foster on the fateful vacation where Blake originally found Mjolnir.

In this version of events, Blake and Foster are together when the Stone Men From Saturn attack, and after Blake drops his walking stick, it is Foster and not Blake who ends up trapped in a cave with the gnarled stick that is actually Mjolnir in disguise. She picks it up and taps it on the ground, initiating the transformation into Thor that was intended for Blake. Evidently, despite the elaborate scheming of Odin designed to turn Blake into Thor, Jane Foster is herself worthy of the mantle of Thor and so she transforms into a female incarnation of Thor.

Jane, much like Blake in his early days as Thor, has none of the memories or knowledge of Thor. She decides to call herself by the arguably more feminine name of “Thordis.” Thordis makes short work of the Stone Men from Saturn, rescuing Blake.

In the weeks to come, Thordis fights the same threats that Thor had faced in his early crimefighting career and handles herself as well, if not better than Thor had in the default timeline. Not needing a walking-stick, she has carved the stick into a wooden hair-brush that she keeps in her purse.

Eventually, Thordis is summoned to Asgard. Odin is shocked and appalled to discover that it is a mortal woman that has come to wield Mjolnir, and there is enough wiggle room in the text to say that his concern is not over her gender, but over the fact that she is a random non-Blake mortal. Odin banishes Thordis from Asgard.

Sif takes this turn of events poorly. She loves Thor and is now worried that he will never return to Asgard.  She travels to Midgard and proceeds to seduce Doctor Donald Blake, who has drifted apart from Nurse Foster ever since she began her career as a superhero. Over time, Blake and Sif fall in love. Sif uses magic to heal Blake’s leg.

Eventually, the Mangog attempts to unsheath the Odinsword. In the face of Ragnarok both Sif and Thordis return to Asgard. Sif allows Blake to accompany her. Thordis fights the Mangog before waking Odin from his Odinsleep with Mjolnir, allowing the All-Father to undo the Mangog.

In the aftermath, Odin forces Thordis to give Blake her mystic hammer, restoring the doctor to his natural state as Thor. However, Jane has won the respect of Odin and he gifts her with the godhead. He then starts putting the moves on her, and eventually the two are wed. It’s pretty damn weird.

 

Days of Thunder – August 1978 The Mighty Thor #274

“The Eye– And the Arrow!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Instigators * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Bob Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Ed.

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After taunting Thor with the prospect of the twilight of the Gods, Loki transforms into a rat and scurries behind a statue of Odin. Thor lifts the statue in order to get at his brother, despite the fact that lifting the likeness of Odin is sacrilege. It is while holding this statue that Odin returns astride Sleipnir, his eight-legged horse.

Odin has brought with him a blind warrior named Hoder. More strikingly, after all these binocular years, the All-Father now wears an eyepatch. Thor and Balder somewhat calm down Odin, who is angry about the statue and the mortals and Loki.

Thor wants to kill Loki in order to prevent Ragnarok. Odin says Thor can’t. Odin is surprised that Loki has been restored to Godhood.   Loki says Odin can not punish him again, and that Odin knows the reasons why. Odin, who normally would have plenty to be absurdly angry about, takes it all in relative stride, for he knows they face the end of all things.

Recently,  Odin’s ravens, Hugin and Munin, warned him that the time of Ragnarok might be approaching. Odin visited Mimir, seeking knowledge of how to prevent such an Armageddon. Mimir asked that Odin pay a price for such knowledge.

Unlike the price Mimir recently asked Thor to pay, the price demanded of Odin is actually costly: his right eye. Mimir hates Odin, for at the dawn of Asgard, Odin was responsible for Mimir’s beheading. Having taken petty payment, Mimir instructs Odin to travel to Hel to consult with Volla, the long-dead prophetess.

Odin finds Volla and asks her how, if possible, Ragnarok can be avoided. She tells him that Ragnarok is inevitable, due to Odin’s long-ago decree that the world will eventually need “fiery cleansing.” She suggests that it may be delayed if Balder can be protected, for his death shall signal the beginning of the end.

This is strange, for in the vision of Ragnarok that she saw, as depicted in issue #200, Balder fought alongside Thor in the battle of Ragnarok. Either her vision of the future has changed, or she is lying.

While in Hel, Odin encounters Hela. It is well-established that there are multiple afterlifes, and that the afterlife for the Aesir is Valhalla. This is now slightly reframed, as Hela is identified as the ruler of the Realm of the Dead known as Hel, and that she has semi-recently annexed Valhalla, something that Odin would take issue with, had he not more pressing matters. On the way back to Asgard, Odin happens upon Hoder, a blind wandering god, whom Odin offers to bring back to Asgard. He does so.

Soon after Odin finishes his tale, Sif and Hildegarde return from a seperate mission, tasked to them by the All-Father: They have brought back the long-absent Goddesses of Asgard. It is unknown where they were, or why they left, or how much of the female population of Asgard had been away while others such as Sif, Krista, and Hildegarde had remained.

Amongst the returning Goddesses is Frigga, the wife of Odin. Frigga shows a maternal affection for Thor, but in an aside, Hobbs explains to his cameraman Roger “Red” Norvell, that he doubts that Frigga is Thor’s mother; that according to mythology his mother was a giantess named “Jord.”

After Thor and Sif exchange a warm greeting, Odin, Frigga, and Thor depart to discuss the end of the world and also the presence of mortals in Asgard. Loki is not invited.

While they do that, the rest of the cast has a moment of downtime. Red clumsily hits on Sif and Balder tells him to fuck off. Balder then tells everyone that he is not worried about dying because as long as he remains in Asgard, he is invulnerable to any non-mistletoe thing. In his telling, it is Frigga that arranged this, but he likely misremembers, for it was Odin that made such happen.

Thanks to a psychic suggestion from Loki, Balder suggests that everybody throw their weapons at him. All the Asgardians do, despite Hobbs’ protests that they are being very stupid. Loki offers Hoder a special bow, with which Hodor uses to fire an arrow straight into Balder’s chest, fatally!

First Appearance: Sleipnir, Hoder, Hugin, Munin, Frigga, Njord

 

Days of Thunder – January 1978 The Mighty Thor #267

“Once More, To Midgard!
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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With Odin returned to the Throne, it is a time for regrouping. The Recorder returns to the Colonizers, and Karnilla likewise departs. Loki is put on trial and as punishment, Odin strips him of his memories and of his godhood, sending Loki to live on Midgard as he once did with his other son. Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar remain free.  Odin tasks the Warriors Three with tracking them down.

Thor desires to return to Earth.  He discusses the matter with Sif, who has found a snazzy new outfit. He tells her that he wishes to go to Midgard without her. Says he, “Though the heart of Thor is ever thine, the spirit of Don Blake cries out for release, and I must heed its call alone!” As Thor has no interest in being Don Blake, it can be assumed that the part of him that is Blake is literally crying out for release from within his psychic prison.
Sif gives Thor his space, but the matter of Jane Foster is not discussed. If Sif stays of Asgard, it would seem Jane is doomed to non-existence, and were she to return to Earth, it would be the Lady Sif who was denied a life. What amount of responsibility to Jane does Sif carry? Also, Thor wasted no time in getting romantic with Jane when Sif seemed dead, now that she is back, Thor claims she has his heart. None of these matters is discussed.

Does Jane have any friends, any family? No one was seen to visit her in the hospital when she was dying. Presumably she had a job before leaving on the Odin Quest. Are there people on Earth searching for her, presuming her dead?

Thor returns to Earth, shocked to discover that he has been gone for over a year. Blake had just started up a new practice last time he was on Earth. That practice’s office has been bulldozed in his absence. Blake has no close friends. His girlfriend is trapped in another woman’s body in another plane of existence. Blake takes a moment to contemplate if existing still makes sense.

Blake decides to start a new chapter of his life. He visits his old college mentor, Dr. Jacob Wallaby, looking for work. He tells Wallaby that he needs something that he can drop at a moments notice for an indefinite length of time. Wallaby agrees to set Blake up with some unpaid work at a free clinic. He comments, “I’ve never quite understood you, my boy! Your skill as a surgeon surpasses any other I’ve ever seen, yet I’ve always had the feeling mere medicine wasn’t enough for you…”

Before they can discuss it further, a schmuck calling himself “Damocles” and some other thugs attack the hospital they are at, stealing some synthetic cobalt. Blake departs, changes into Thor and gives chase. Damocles escapes, intending to build a Cobalt Cannon.

First Appearance: Damocles, Dr. Jacob Wallaby

 

Days of Thunder – December 1977 The Mighty Thor #266

“…So Falls the Realm Eternal!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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When Karnilla realizes that Balder’s spirit is powering the Destroyer, she wastes no time in teleporting to the location of Balder’s body, which she steals away from the Trickster God. She takes the body to the Destroyer, intending to remove Balder’s essence from the Destroyer and put it back where it belongs.

Unfortunately, Loki follows Karnilla, and in the battle that ensues, the Norn Queen is knocked unconscious. The part of the Destroyer that is Balder senses this, and turns its attention away from thrashing Thor with Kzippa particles in order to attack Loki. Panicked, Loki returns the essence of Balder to its body.

Loki, then intends to enter the Destroyer himself, but before he can, Thor enters it. The Thor-powered Destroyer is about to kill Loki when Odin arrives, and commands the Destroyer to kneel before him. The part of the Destroyer that is Thor hears and yields.

While most of the cast had been fighting the Destroyer, the Warriors Three followed the team of Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar to the secret cavern where Loki had hidden Odin. They defeat the villains, and free the All-Father from the Mists of Morpheus that Loki had been using to indefinitely prolong the Odinsleep. Once freed of the mists, Odin awoke and was thus able to end the Destroyer fight and reassume his rulership of Asgard. Odin frees Thor’s spirit from the Destroyer and father and son embrace.

Days of Thunder – November 1977 The Mighty Thor #265

“When Falls the God of Thunder…!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson, Illustrator * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Welcome Back All, Joe Sinnott, Guest Embellisher

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Thor fights the Destroyer, which Loki stole from Galactus. Even with most of his friends pitching in, he is no match for his foe. Hildegarde remains conspicuously absent from the action.

Meanwhile, Karnilla, riding a dragon, is denied entrance to Asgard by a pair of guardsmen named Brolthar and Enok, so she turns them into toads and enters the city. She attempts to assist Thor but when her magic strikes the Destroyer, she realizes the truth: The Destroyer’s current host is none other than Balder!

First Appearance: Brolthar, Enok

Days of Thunder – October 1977 The Mighty Thor #264

“Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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Loki has grabbed the throne of Asgard yet again, and this time he backs up his grab with a well-forged legal document from a cask bearing the Odin-Seal. The scroll within the cask states that in the case of Odin’s incapacitation, whichever of Odin’s sons can first sit on the Throne shall rule the realm. Given that both Thor and Loki have repeatedly been banished from Asgard, and given that Odin enters the Odinsleep once a year, on top of his tendency to mysteriously disappear, one would think he would have established a clear, well-known rule of succession by now.

Instead, we have Loki, apparently the rightful ruler of Asgard. This time, he has surrounded himself with lackeys. In addition to the reluctant support of the Enchantress and the Executioner (both of whom, one would think would still be sore about Loki’s role in their initial banishment) he has also enlisted the aid of his old friends Kroda the Duelist and Magrat the Schemer and brought Snaykar the Skulker into the fold.

Loki bids his brother and friends to depart from his presence. Thor and his friends do, and split into two teams. The Warriors Three are tasked with protecting Odin, while Thor, Sif and the Recorder search for Balder.

The Warriors Three find Odin missing from his bedchambers. They follow the trail left by his abductors, which leads them to Executioner and the Enchantress, deep within the bowels of Asgard, near the Troll-built generators that power the city. They fight.  Due to subtle manipulation on the part of Loki, the Enchantress and the Executioner plummet to their seeming death at the end of the fight.

Thor, Sif and the Recorder have been told that Balder left Asgard with Karnilla, accompanying her back to her domain.  They head out that way,  and hve to fight their way past a pair of Storm Giants to get there.  Sif is oddly frightened of one of them, but Thor kills them.

When they arrive at the home of the Norn Queen, Karnilla claims not to know what became of Balder. Thor believes Karnilla when it comes to matters of Balder.

It turns out that Loki has used his magic to erase the Norn Queen’s memory of Balder’s capture and her defeat, that Loki has been manipulating the memories of all the people of Asgard, that Balder is locked in the dungeons of Asgard, and that it wasn’t really Thor that attacked Balder.

Thor returns to Loki, full of bluster. Loki simply vanishes.  The Destroyer appear before Thor.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1977 The Mighty Thor #263

“Holocaust and Homecoming!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators Extraordinaire * Glynis Wein, Colorist * John Costanza, Letterer

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The Asgardians do battle against the Odin-Force given form, and it is Valiant Volstagg that wins the day. Volstagg finds himself able to blast the being with powerful energy from his hands and he fights the being to the point of exhaustion, at which point it dissipates. It seems Odin was able to transfer a portion of the Odin-Force into Volstagg before expiring. Volstagg now transfers that same force back to Odin, restoring him to life.

During the course of the fight, the Soul-Survivors’ Energy Siphon was destroyed, and it seems that they now have no way of capturing the energy their world needs to survive. Also, it seems that while the Soul-Survivors were able to disenchant Mjolnir when they were in control of the Odin-Force, now that Odin is free and alive, the hammer is enchanted once again.

The Asgardians (and their Rigelian friend) depart. Odin has been weakened by these recent events and slips into the Odinsleep once again. The crew of the Starjammer return to Asgard only to find Loki sitting on the throne, flanked by the Enchantress and the Executioner!

Days of Thunder – August 1977 The Mighty Thor #262

“Even an Immortal Can Die!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

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The Soul-Survivors’ world is known as Templeworld. Their enclosed planet, orbiting a star that emits darkness, is powered by an engine that converts the divinity of a god into energy. The people of Templeworld sucked dry their original god long ago, and have powered their world through a long succession of now-dead shanghaied gods. The space graveyard that the Starjammer passed through is the aftermath of this grizzly business.

Odin is the current source of power for these people. The imprisoned Asgardians are tended to by a pair of Soul-Survivors, K’rll and N’gll, and they are already preparing to replace Odin with the three new Immortals they have captured, for the All Father is near death.

Odin dies, and his oddly-familiar final words to Thor are “forgive them, my son for they know not what they do.” His father’s death fills Thor with the Warrior’s Madness.  He shatters his restraints as his friends arrive to free him. Sif and Fandral are loosed in no time, and sensing the shifting tide, K’rll takes the remaining Odin-Force that has been harvested from the All-Father and gives it a corporeal form, with which to kill Thor.

Meanwhile, back on Asgard, Thor sucker punches Balder and Karnilla and knocks them both out.

Days of Thunder – July 1977 The Mighty Thor #261

“The Wall Around the World!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ Walt Simonson & Ernie Chan, Illustrators Supreme/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Annette Kaweki Letterer

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Thor and company breach what turns out to be a wall that surrounds a planet. The planet seems to be covered by a city that has a sprawl that  covers the entire world. Soon, they are attacked by armored foes.

During the fight, Thor discovers that Mjolnir will no longer return to his hands by itself. Before this can be explored, Thor, Sif, and Fandral are captured. Their captors identify themselves as the Soul-Survivors and indicate their intent to worship their prisoners. The Soul-Survivors are beautifully-rendered androgynous beings that speak in lower-case letters.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Thor berates Balder, telling him that the Executioner and Enchantress that he and Karnilla defeated were mere illusions, illusions that have now disappeared. Karnilla is suspicious: She knows those were not illusions. Nonetheless, she follows as Thor leads them back to the city gates so that they might face their true foe.

Elsewhere, a hooded figure who dresses like Loki divides his attention between observing the events on Asgard and the events on the Doomsday Star, content that all is going according to plan.

maybe loki

First Appearance: The Soul-Survivors

Days of Thunder – June 1977 The Mighty Thor #260

“The Vicious and the Valiant”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * Glynis W. Colorist * J Costanza, Letterer * Proudly Present Walt Simonson Illustrator, In the immortal words of Irving Forbush, Effendi– So be it!!

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The Recorder plugs himself into Bird of Prey – rechristened “The Phoenix of Freedom”, and is able to produce a map to the Doomsday Star. Meanwhile, the Warriors Three rip the weapons out of the Bird of Prey and retrofit the Starjammer.

In Asgard, Balder sneaks into the camp of the Enchantress’ army, to learn more about them. He soon discovers that the “army” is nothing more than a bunch of magically animated suits of armor. The Enchantress and Executioner find him within their camp, leading to a brawl. During the fight, the Enchantress refers to having a master, which is very unlike her. Also, Balder destroys the Executioner’s battleaxe.

At any rate, Karnilla joins in the fight, and the invaders are defeated. Afterward, Thor seemingly reveals himself to Balder, displeased with his friend.

Meanwhile, Thor captains the Starjammer through a giant space graveyard of giant cosmic creatures and eventually they reach the Doomsday Star, which does indeed radiate darkness. Orbiting the star is a giant, planet-sized fortress.

 

Days of Thunder – April 1977 The Mighty Thor #258

“If the Stars be Made of Stone!”
Len Wein: Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga: Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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The Grey Gargoyle is now the leader of a band of space pirates who deal in the slave trade. Their ship is named the Bird of Prey. They capture the crew of the Starjammer and enslave them.

On Asgard, the leaders of the army surrounding the city present themselves at the gates. It is the Enchantress and the Executioner!

 

Days of Thunder – March 1977 The Mighty Thor #257

“Death, Thou Shalt Die!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators Extraordinaire/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Condoy, Letter

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Thor and company fight Sporr, who is a huge blobby monster with tentacles. Thor senses that there is something off with the creature during the fight, but it attacked Sif so he ignores that instinct and murders the beast.

Thor finds a horrified Sif. Surprise, surprise, Spoor wasn’t picking off the weak and defenseless, but rather was escorting them to a secret paradise. Also, it was the last of its kind.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, a very large army has amassed around the city. Balder, with Karnilla at his side, prepares for attack. The names whispered last issue are still unknown.

Elsewhere, there is a ship full of space pirates, including one named Fee-Lon and one named Balzor, approaching a new target. The ships captain: The Grey Gargoyle!

First Appearance: Fee-Lon, Balzor

 

Days of Thunder – February 1977 The Mighty Thor #256

“Lurker in the Dark!”

Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Bscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * Glynis Wein, Colorist * John Costanza, Letterer

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The crew of the Starjammer gains a new member when the Recorder arrives to joins the party. The Colonizers of Rigel have become aware of Thor’s quest, and they have sent his old android compatriot to observe and to assist.

Later, they find a giant Worldship drifting without power. The recorder’s Sensitizers detect two distinct life forms types aboard the ship. The crew decide to enter the ship, to ask if the inhabitants might know the location of the Doomsday Star.  This is their plan to find Odin.

Upon entering, they are attacked by automated Securitrons. They fend off the robots, but Sif is injured in the melee. They meet up with some of the inhabitants of the Worldship, the name of which they learn is “Levianon”, including their First Citizen, Relstor, and a young man named Darnak.

The inhabitants explain to Thor and his friends that they are under siege by a massive tentacle monster known as Sporr. Earlier this day, the beast claimed the life of young Darnak’s grandfather. Relstor hopes that Thor and his friends will attack the beast, but Thor, concerned with finding the Doomsday Star, does not consider it to be his fight to fight. While they discuss the matter, Sif woozily wanders away and is grabbed by Sporr. Now it is Thor’s fight.

Back on Asgard, Karnilla is not-so-subtly priming Balder to take the vacant throne when Brokarr, the guard of the Northern gates of Asgard rushes in, badly injured. He dies with the names of his two assassins on his lips. The reader is not privy to their names (but can probably guess). The name that Balder the Brave heard shake him to his core. According to Balder, “if what he spoke was true, then his words were the death sentence for all of Asgard!”

First Appearance: Levianon, Relstor, Darnak, Sporr, Brokarr

Days of Thunder – January 1977 The Mighty Thor #255

“Lo, The Quest Begins!”
Len Wein: Writer/Editor * Tony DeZuniga: Illustrator * Glynis Wein: Colorist * Watanabe, Letterer

Thor 255

Thor returns to Asgard without the Ruby Eye. When the Vizier summons Mimir so that Thor may report  his failure, Mimir tells Thor that his task was a test, not a price. Thor has passed the test, and  proved himself worthy of the knowledge that Mimir now imparts:

To find Odin, Thor must seek the Doomsday Star, which seems to be a legendary star that shines darkness instead of light. Mimir departs without telling Thor how to find this fabled star.

Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three decide to set out in the Starjammer seeking the Doomsday Star. They head out into the vastness of space blindly, trusting that fate will point them in the right direction. Balder stays behind to safeguard the throne of Asgard, Karnilla staying at his side. Hildegarde is oddly absent.

As they journey through the stars, they find themselves seeking shelter from a meteor swarm by landing on a large asteroid. On the asteroid they find the Stone Men from Saturn, the same invasion party that came to Earth all those many years ago. When the fled Earth, they crashed onto this asteroid, and have been trapped ever since.

The Saturnians attack the Asgardians, hoping to steal their Starjammer, but are sorely outclassed. The Asgardians defeat their attackers and retreat to the Starjammer, while the damage caused by the fight causes the asteroid to crumble, presumably taking the Stone Men with them.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1976 The Mighty Thor #252

“A Dragon at the Gates!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Bsucema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 252

Thor tries to find his father by again seeking the aid of Mimir. Unlike last time,  Mimir now demands very specific payment for his services: The Cyclopean Ruby Eye of the Dragon Guardian of of Realm Below.

Thor finds the task dishonorable, but decides he has little choice. He journeys down into the Realm Below, adjacent to the territory of the Trolls and eventually finds the Dragon of the Ruby Eye. However, before he can fight the dragon, he discovers that his old foe Ulik has come here at the exact same time, seeking the exact same item.

Ulik claims that the survival of the Troll Empire itself depends on the procurement of the eye. Neither warrior is willing to forfeit the Eye, and so they fight each other for it. Ulik wins the fight, tossing Thor off a cliff into a lake of fire!

Days of Thunder – September 1976 The Mighty Thor #251

“To Hela and Back”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorsist/ Pat Condoy, Letterer

Thor 251

Sif, while happy to be alive, is afraid that she is a mere consolation prize to Thor, forever second in his heart to Jane. Thor does his best to explain to her that having two women that he loves combined into one is kind of awesome.

Karnilla has been sticking around Asgard, for unspecified reasons. This makes Balder both pleased and incredibly uncomfortable.

After days of searching, the Vizier cannot find Odin anywhere in the known universe. He suspects that Odin may be in Valhalla. He travels there, by himself, and encounters his old frenemy, Harokin. Harokin can’t pass up the opportunity to wrassle with Thor and forces Thor into a fight he does not want.

Eventually, Hela arrives and informs Thor that Odin is not in her land. She then allows Thor to depart.

Days of Thunder – August 1976 The Mighty Thor #250

“If Asgard Should Perish…!”
Journey beyond the imagination with… Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * John Costanza, Letterer * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ We promise you won’t regret it!

Thor 250

Some time after Igron was imprisoned by Odin, he encountered the Mangog.   Long believed dead, the once-massive Mangog had dwindled to the size of a rodent, but even after his connection to the rage that fueled him was severed, it turns out that the Mangog is hate personified and simply cannot be destroyed. However, without the original rage that drove him, the Mangog has redirected that hate and rage at Odin and at Asgard.

Igron and the Mangog quickly formed an alliance. Igron used his magic to siphon some strength from all the inhabitants of Asgard.  He then poured that strength into the Mangog, thus restoring some of what the Mangog once was. It was this, and not the absence of Odin that caused the strange lethargy in Asgard in issue #240.  After Igron rejuvenates the Mangog, the two spend some time together scheming.

Time passes.  Igron is spying on Odin when he witnesses Odin teleport away from Earth after having his memory restored.  Igron quickly realizes that wherever Odin teleported to, it was not Asgard.  He does not know what became of Odin but he recognizes an opportunity.  He disguises the Mangog as Odin, and so begins the Mangog’s masquerade. Over time, the Mangog steadily gains strength as he absorbs the worship of the people of Asgard.

That brings us to the present.  The Mangog defeats Thor and has him chained before the gates of the city as a warning. What follows is a full-out insurrection, as Sif and her allies challenge the being they believe to be Odin. In the fight that follows, the Mangog easily defeats those who challenge him. However, this isn’t playing well with the masses and Igron cautions the Mangog to reign it in. The Mangog scoffs at this, and kills Igron. Upon the sorcerer’s death, his illusion is shattered and “Odin”’s true identity is revealed to the people of Asgard.  .

Thor frees himself as all turn against the Mangog. He redeclares his love for the Lady Sif as he takes the fight to the Mangog. Unmasked, the Mangog has decided to revert to type and pull the Odinsword, however without the belief of the people of Asgard to give him power,  he fades away once more. Presumably he survives as a tiny Mangog.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1976 The Mighty Thor #249

“The Throne and the Fury!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema, Illustrator/ Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Marv Wolfman, Face in the Crowd

Thor 249

Those who would stand against Odin make their plans.  While they do, the Vizier has a gift for Jane Foster. He passes the sword that once belonged to Lady Sif. However, when Jane takes hold of it, she finds it seething with power. In pain, she slams the hilt of it against the wall, and finds herself bathed in light. hen it fades, it is not Nurse Jane Foster of Earth that stands before the Vizier, but Lady Sif herself!

The Vizier theorizes that both women now exist within a single form and that in Asgard, Sif is the dominant person. Unfortunately, they have more pressing matters that preclude exploring this matter at the moment.  Thor, the Vizier and a reluctant Balder will venture to the Forest of the Norns to parlay with Karnilla the Norn Queen, while the rest of their band try to rally support for their cause.

Balder does not want to see the Norn Queen, for he loves her still although their love can never be. Nonetheless, they need petition her for aid, for her power may be the only power in the Realm Eternal strong enough to breach Odin’s mystic defenses. Upon reaching the Norn Queen, she is cruel and distant. Balder begs her not to hold her anger toward him against his people. In response she strikes him, decrying “Thou dost presume too much, Asgardian to even think the omnipotent Norn queen would ever deign to feel affection for one such as thee!” After that bit of theater, she is convinced to reluctantly join their cause.

Returning to Asgard, Thor and his allies head straight to Odin’s throne room. Karnilla alone does not have strength enough to break Odin’s barrier, but by combining her power with the power of Thor harnessed through Mjolnir, they rip open the doors.

Thor enters alone to find Odin on his throne, which is, in turn, on top of the Odinsword, which has been moved, safe within its hilt, to his throne room. His intent is clear: If anyone challenges his rule, he will unsheathe the sword and bring about the end of the world!  Having played his trump card, the All-Father reveals the truth: He is not Odin at all, but in actuality the fearsome Mangog!

 

Days of Thunder – June 1975 The Mighty Thor #236

“One Life to Give!”
Gerry Conway, author/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ Artie Simek, letterer/ Phil Rache, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

Thor 236

As Thor and the Absorbing Man continue to fight, Creel reveals that he survived falling into water by touching a rock. This gives Thor an idea. He runs into a toy store and tricks Creel into grabbing a cardboard facsimile of Mjolnir. This turns the Absorbing Man into cardboard and Thor is able to defeat him. Further inspired, he traps his enemy inside a cardboard box, thus forcing Creel to remain cardboard.

Meanwhile, in California, some punks start hassling the man currently going by the name Orrin, and Orrin accidentally murders one of them.

Back in New York, Sif completes her ritual but at a price. She saves the life of Nurse Jane Foster, but the goddess is gone. Her entire life force has been absorbed into the mortal woman, which consumes Sif’s physical body as well.

As Thor returns to the hospital, he discovers what has transpired while he fought his enemy. The newly invigorated Jane calls Thor “my darling” as she explains what happened. It seems something has returned her memories. Perhaps it was the magic of the Spell of Revival, or perhaps it was Odin’s renouncing his godhead. Whatever the case, Thor holds Jane tight, his eyes closed.

Days of Thunder – May 1975 The Mighty Thor #235

“Who Lurks Beyond the Labyrinth!”
Gerry Conway, author/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

Thor 235

Sif and Hercules enter the domain of Kamo Tharrin. Much of Kamo Tharrin’s nature is unclear. He is a blind being of immense power, wielding a silly looking staff with a giant lion head on one end, known as the Runestaff.

Sif and Hercules trespass upon Kamo Tharrin’s home despite his protests. When he refuses to give them his staff, they beat him up and steal it from him.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Thor is so angry about Nurse Jane Foster’s condition that he smashes the roof of a building to rubble, which rains down upon a crowd of passerby. Thor manages to destroy the falling stonework before it hits anyone, but it was a close thing.

Later, the Absorbing Man sneaks into Foster’s hospital room, where a pensive Thor waits with the Vizier. It is unclear how Creel survived his previous encounter with Thor, but he wants revenge and he has decided that absorbing Thor’s hammer, is the key to victory. Touch it, he does, kicking off a fight that Thor directs into the street, away from Nurse Foster.

Sif and Hercules teleport back to Jane’s room, assuming that Kamo Tharrin will be hot on their heels. Sif commands the Vizier to immediately begin the Spell of Revival!

First Appearance: Kamo Tharrin, the Runestaff

 

Days of Thunder – April 1975 The Mighty Thor #234

“O, Bitter Victory!”
Gerry Conway, author/John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

Thor 234

Thor attempts a sneak attack against Loki’s forces, but he is caught and captured. Meanwhile, Iron Man and Firelord combine their powers to attack the barrier that traps them within Avenger’s Mansion. They break the barrier, but only Firelord retains the strength to take the fight to Loki. Krista stays behind to look after Iron Man.

Firelord fights his way into Loki’s camp and provides the distraction Thor needs to escape. Thor challenges his brother to an unarmed duel. Loki agrees.  When Thor sets down his hammer, he creates a sixty-second time limit for their battle. As they fight, Thor senses Dormammu’s power draining from Loki. With two seconds to spare, Thor is triumphant in his fight against his brother.

As Loki crumples to the ground, his spell lifts and the Asgardians in his thrall awaken. Thor meanwhile sheds a tear for his brother.

Elsewhere, Orrin,  née Odin,  engages in a philosophical discussion with his young friend, Judith. Abruptly, a car speeds toward the pair at high speed, causing Orrin to swat it aside as if it were nothing. Either the Vizier was mistaken about Odin becoming mortal, or even when mortal he retains the strength of one Asgard-born.

Meanwhile, Sif and Hercules arrive on the planet where Kamo Tharnn lives, as they continue their quest to save the life of Nurse Jane Foster.

First Appearance: Judith

Days of Thunder – February 1975 The Mighty Thor #232

“Lo, the Raging Battle!”

Gerry Conway, Author/ John Buscema & Dick Giordano, Artists/ J. Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 232

Thor has obtained experimental government drugs that may be able to heal Jane Foster from her non-specific injuries. This proves fruitless.

While Thor broods, Firestorm approaches the Thunder God, leading to a big stupid fight over nothing. This does immense property damage, to buildings, to the streets, to cars. The two eventually cool off and prepare to head to Avengers Mansion when Detective Sgt. Blumkenn arrives, attempting to hold them accountable for their destructive behavior. Thor talks his way out of trouble off-panel, presumably with an explanation along the lines of “send a bill to Tony Stark.”

Meanwhile, at Avengers Mansion, Iron Man receives a video phone call from Tom Fagan, who checks in with the Avengers from time to time, in his role as Loki’s warden. Apparently, Loki cast a spell causing a teenager named Bunker to appear to be Loki, and that it was this child that has been Fagan’s prisoner all this time.

Clearly this story takes place some time after the events of Avengers #118. Within the pages of The Mighty Thor, there has been no down time on Earth since Thor fought Ulik in issue #210. Therefore, all of Thor’s involvement with the Avengers up until at least that point must have taken place before that issue.

Thor and Firelord arrive at Avengers Mansion, apparently in the free and clear, law-wise. Firelord explains to Thor, Iron Man, Krista and Jarvis that the former-herald had been lured to a twisted dimension by Loki. Loki seemed to have gone mad with power and explained to Firelord that he had gained the spirit of Dormammu’s mystic being, and thus he gained the Dark One’s power. Faced with this news, Thor returns to Jane Foster’s side.

Meanwhile on Asgard, Sif does not know what to do about Jane Foster, with Odin missing. Hildegarde suggests that there may be hope in the Runestaff of Kamo Tharnn, an artifact that holds the power of life and death. Sif heads out on a quest to retrieve it, returning briefly to Earth in order to recruit Hercules to her cause.  It is unclear why Hildegarde does not accompany her.

Days of Thunder – January 1975 The Mighty Thor #231

“A Spectre from the Past!”
Gerry Conway, Author/ John Buscema & Dick Giordano, Artists Extraodinair/ John Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 231

Thor and Hercules emerge from the caverns under New York and are immediately flagged down by Detective Sergeant Blumkenn, who informs them that all the suicidal people around the city have snapped out of their condition. Apparently, when Hercules and Thor conquered Fear, they broke a malevolent spirit’s hold on all these many people.

Also, one of the victims has been asking for Thor by name. That person is Nurse Jane Foster! Thor rushed to the hospital only to find Jane unconscious. The prognosis is grim but vague. Apparently Thor’s onetime love has but weeks to live. Thor’s old feelings for Jane have come flooding back upon seeing her in this condition and he refuses to leave her side.

Sif, who has switched back to her old hat, sees the love that Thor feels for Jane and she is determined to save the mortal. She leaves Thor and Krista on Earth as she uses her innate powers as a goddess to teleport back to Asgard. She has come to petition Odin, only to be told by Hildegarde that Odin is missing.

Meanwhile a spirit named Armak, claiming to be the very first man, has possessed the body of a phony psychic named Arnold Nicolson, changing the man’s body into a beastly form. Armak grabs a girl with intent to mate, before running through the streets demanding men to fight with. Hercules and a reluctant Thor step in to oblige him. Ultimately, Thor shoves him off of a tall building, causing the human host to plummet to his death.

First Appearance: Armak

 

Days of Thunder – December 1974 The Mighty Thor #230

“The Sky Above… The Pits Below!”
Gerry Conway, Author/Rich Buckler, Artist *** Joe Sinnott, Embellisher/ Costanza & Jetter, Letterers/ Stan Goldberg, Colorist *** Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 230

Thor takes the unconscious Hercules to Avengers Mansion, in order to use their Memory Inducer. Iron Man helps him, but the device drives Hercules into a rage, screaming “I will not remember!”. Fortunately, Krista is able to calm him down.

Once calmed, Hercules tells his comrades that he cannot recall what he saw when the monsters dragged him down below the city, that it is something so dreadful that he has blocked all memory of it. Thor and Hercules decide to investigate, requesting that Iron Man, Sif, and Krista stay behind as backup.

They travel under the city, into the tunnels and caverns that apparently exist below New York city. They are attacked by a horde of demonesque monsters. Hercules deduces that their unseen foe’s goal must be simply to make Hercules and Thor despair. Once he works that out, the monsters vanish and their foe is revealed to be nothing but a shadow.

Meanwhile on Asgard, Hildegarde fights her way past Odin’s guards in order to gain entrance to his chamber, as she is known to do on occasion. However, Odin is not in his chambers! She finds the Vizier, who confirms that Odin has gone missing!

 

Days of Thunder – November 1974 The Mighty Thor #229

“Where Darkness Dwells, Dwell I!”
Gerry Conway, author/ Rich Buckler, artist/ Chic Stone, inker/ J. Costanza, letterer, L. Lessman, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 229

Thor and Hercules are back on Earth. They part ways, but a few hours later they are reunited at the site of an explosion caused by a suicidal madman. Thor summons a storm to put out the fire and the two warriors parlay with a policeman named Detective Sergeant Blumkenn. Blumkenn either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that Thor is a fugitive from the law.   The detective tells the two warriors that this is the fourth case in recent days of someone violently and publicly killing themselves, each muttering variants of “In death, I’ll get life. He promised that.”

Thor and Hercules want to investigate but are not detectives and do not know how. Thor petitions Odin for aid, and his father grants it in the form of Sif, teleported to Earth in a snazzy new helmet. Thor is so happy to see Sif, he loses interest in the suicides, which angers Hercules, who storms off.

On his own, Hercules is attacked by a humanoid male form, entirely black and mute. They spar until a manhole cover opens and a swarm of demons pulls Hercules down into the sewer. The black creature laughs, soundlessly.

A short time later, Thor and Sif return to the hospital to find that Krista has fully healed.  She has also found some clothes that are appropriately Asgardian. Hercules stumbles into this room, whispers “Where darkness dwells, dwell I!” and passes out.

First Appearance: Detective Sergeant Blumkenn

 

Days of Thunder – October 1974 The Mighty Thor #228

“Ego: Beginning and End!”
A Marvel madhouse masterpiece brought to you by: Gerry Conway, author/ Rich Buckler, artist/ Joe Sinnott, embellisher/ John Costanza, letterer/ Stan G., colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 228

After plunging his hammer into Ego’s brain, Thor is hit by a psychic wave, forcing him to witness the long-ago birth of Ego.

Once, there was a culture facing extinction as their sun was going nova. They had no ability to escape via space travel, so instead they hatched a plan to shield themselves from the nova in suspended animation. However, there was an error in their calculations, and the nova flared before they were ready. The shielding was not in place, and one man named Egron (not to be confused with Igron), was not yet in suspended animation, and somehow the nova cause a transformation, combining the planet, the man, and the life force of the remaining two billion people into a single entity. That apparently is how one creates a living bio-verse that exists out of shift with our own universe. It is not clear if Ego then traveled to the Black Galaxy, or if the Black Galaxy formed around it.

Thor recovers from this vision and hits Ego’s brain some more, this time with energy blasts from Mjolnir. Galactus tells his allies that it is time for them to go. While Thor, Hercules and Firestorm were keeping Ego distracted, Galactus bolted some Sidereal engines onto Ego, and set him blasting off into space uncontrollably, neutralizing him as a threat.

The job now complete, Firestorm asks if he might now be freed from his servitude to Galactus. Galactus puts it on Thor: If Thor can find a replacement, Galactus will release Firestorm. Thor suggests the Destroyer, and so they retrieve the supremely powerful creation Odin had created in order to defend Asgard, and give it to Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. It was right where they had left it.

Firestorm leaves “without a single word of gratitude.”

First Appearance: Egron